Avoiding Disruption From Disruptive Technologies

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at andy.jordan@roffensian.com. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

This month’s theme revolves around disruptive influences and technologies, and that presents a bit of a problem for me. It’s a hugely topical area at the moment, with everything from 3D printing to cryptocurrencies impacting organizations in some small (or not-so-small) way. But that’s the core of my dilemma. With such a hugely significant topic to write about, the dilemma was finding something different to write about.

And that got me thinking, that’s really the situation a lot of project managers find themselves in when it comes to disruptive technologies. There’s so much focus on how to leverage those technologies that the organization wants to embrace—and how to minimize the disruption caused by those technologies that have the potential to damage organizations—that the peripheral things can get lost. And some of those peripheral items are hugely important—like the impact of all this disruption (and disruption management) on project managers.

So, how can PMs avoid being disrupted by disruptive technologies?

The impact of disruption
There are three reasons why disruptive technologies are receiving so much attention at the moment:

  1. The impact they are having is significant, fundamentally redefining what is possible and permanently changing a number of industries as a result (just think of traditional retail as an …

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